This Man in Pennsylvania Held 12 Girls Captive for Years

Lee Kaplan allegedly has two kids with an 18-year-old girl – one of the 12 girls reportedly in his captivity.

Published21 Jun 2016, 06:39 AM IST
World
2 min read

A man named Lee Kaplan (51) was charged with sexual assault, for keeping 12 girls captive for years in Pennsylvania’s Feasterville region. He is accused of sexually assaulting a teenager whose parents gave her to him when she was 14, according to the police.

His neighbour, Jen Betz, had long felt that “something isn’t right” at the Bucks County home where Kaplan lives.

Betz called the authorities after watching the young girls outside the house, which she said had boarded windows and high weeds.

They’re so sad and fearful every time I see them. That’s what made me call. I’ve been telling my husband for years ‘something isn’t right, something isn’t right.’
Jen Betz, Feasterville Resident
In this file photo from Saturday, 19 June 2016, two women walk past the home of Lee Kaplan in Feasterville, Pennsylvania. (Photo: AP)
In this file photo from Saturday, 19 June 2016, two women walk past the home of Lee Kaplan in Feasterville, Pennsylvania. (Photo: AP)

Of the 12 girls, the youngest is six months old while the eldest is 18. When the police responded to Betz’s tip, the 18-year-old told the police that she and Kaplan have a 3-year-old and a six-month-old child.

Kaplan faces charges including statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and aggravated indecent assault.

Authorities allege in an affidavit that the girl’s father told an officer he gave his 14-year-old daughter to Kaplan after researching the legality of such an action online.

District Attorney David Heckler said that the 18-year-old’s parents – Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus – told police that they were going to lose their farm until Kaplan “came out of the blue and saved them from financial ruin.”

Daniel Stoltzfus has been charged with conspiracy of statutory sexual assault and children’s endangerment while his wife, Savilla Stoltzfus, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Lt Ted Krimmel of the Lower Southampton police department said officials are trying to verify who the parents of the other children found at the home are.

The teenager’s parents told police that the other nine girls in the house were also their children, but no birth certificates or Social Security cards could be located to confirm that, the police said.

WPVI-TV reported that the Stoltzfuses 19-year-old son, John, told the station at the house Friday night that his folks are “good parents.”

While the children did not attend school, they appeared to be in good health and had no visible signs of trauma. Heckler said the children are now together in protective custody.

(With AP inputs)

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